Woosehill resident takes on the Ride Across Britain challenge
My Journey caught up with local Woosehill resident, Kevin Jones to find out about his challenge to ride from Land's End to John O'Groats in September as part of the Ride Across Britain (RAB).
How did you get into cycling?
I began cycling back in 2014 after losing my father to a heart attack at 73. I felt my lifestyle wasn't so different to my dad - always tired, and finding an excuse for not exercising so decided it was time to take some responsibility. In 2014 my wife and I bought a couple of hybrid bikes to cycle around Dinton Pastures. Living in Wokingham we realised that driving to and from Dinton was somewhat self-defeating, so we rode there and back too. The traffic was largely accommodating but the cycle lanes helped hugely to calm nerves and grow confidence.
As my confidence grew, I began to set some targets, participating in the several sportive events across the country, including the 2015 Wokingham Bikeathon. I joined Wokingham’s Cycling Club (WCC) in 2016 and now regularly ride every Sunday with a great bunch of people from right across the local community at all ability levels. Good exercise, good chats, great coffee stops and awesome countryside - you can’t beat it.
What benefits have you found?
This cycling experience unleashed a new me: a new desire and level of energy and a will to own my own health which led to me cycling more. My physical health was improving. In addition the time outside on the bike allowed me to de-stress and recharge my mental batteries.
What’s next in your cycling journey?
My physical and mental wellness journey continues as my 2017 challenge is to ride from Land's End to John O Groats as part of this September’s Ride Across Britain, in aid of the Prince’s Trust and the RAF Benevolent Fund who both provide direct and emotional support to individuals and their families who are struggling to navigate life’s challenges. No doubt filled with highs and lows this bike tour will cover 970 miles, climbing c.42,000ft (climbing and descending Mt Snowdon 6 times) over 9 days.
Any advice for other people who may be interested in cycling?
Recognise you’re on a journey, which from time to time you may need some help, but ultimately you and you alone are responsible for your own health and welfare: stand up take control and shout it out loud.
My Journey wish Kevin all the best on his cycling challenge!
For more information and weekly updates on Kevin’s training and challenge story, and his fund raising efforts for The Prince's Trust and RAFBF, please visit his just giving page, at https://www.justgiving.com/teams/sonic-boom.